Coronavirus (COVID-19): Relief options and Additional Resources

Success Stories

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist

Small businesses are leaving sales on the table without a strategy to compete in the world market. 

Exports are a significant part of America’s economic success. Companies that are involved in exporting are 8.5% less likely to go out of business and tend to grow faster than non-exporting companies[1].  According to the International Trade Administration, there were 9,193 small and medium-sized exporters in Massachusetts representing 89% of all statewide exporters in 2015[2].

Sturbridge-based Optim LLC is one of those small businesses – growing international sales exponentially over the past several years by utilizing the programs and services of the SBA’s resource partner network and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 


A Visualization Company
Optim makes security devices to detect contraband and medical devices that enhance visualization of the ear, nose and throat for doctors.  Founded in 1970, the... Read More

American manufacturing is on the rise in Braintree, Massachusetts.  According to the National Association of Manufacturers – total output from Massachusetts manufacturing showed a steady increase from 2009, reaching $48.75 billion in 2016.[1]  Commercial real estate loans from the SBA are fueling this trend by providing small business owners like Greg Acerra with tools to grow locally and scale operations nationally.

Fireking Baking Company has been an innovator in the baking industry and a leading manufacturer of European-style artisan breads since 1995.  Baking high-quality, all-natural products for restaurants and retail grocery stores – Fireking has been rapidly expanding through the development of a national distribution network and by utilizing state-of-the-art equipment that fulfills large orders with short turnaround time.

Before starting Fireking Baking Company, Founder Greg Acerra worked his way up in the food service industry, opening several... Read More

Veterans represent a vital part of our nation’s population, workforce and business community.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) – veteran business owners represented an estimated 9.1% of all business owners (2.52 million) with an annual payroll of $195 billion and receipts of $1.14 trillion[1].  Another study conducted by the International Franchise Association cited that one out of every seven franchise businesses are owned and operated by veterans.[2]

Veterans such as Dave Adams are part of an increasing trend of military personnel who are returning home and transitioning back to civilian life with business ownership. 


SBA Lending Supports Rapid Expansion
A Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dave Adams finished his service after nearly a decade as a commissioned officer, both as a leadership instructor and an assault amphibian platoon commander.  After rejoining civilian life, Dave’s entrepreneurial... Read More

Tucked away in historic Rehoboth, Massachusetts is the Gilded Tomato Company. 

What started out as a mobile craft pizza truck – has developed into a community social enterprise, a farm-to-table catering experience and expanding strategically into a year-round business.

The idea came about after Gilded Tomato Company CEO Julia Sweet began attending various baking conferences and learned about wood-fired artisan bread-baking with her husband.

From her home and farm in Rehoboth, Sweet grows and harvests seasonal produce, herbs, berries, fruit, and honey for Gilded Tomato pizza creations that are served at special events all across New England.

A Unique Business Model
When Gilded Tomato launched at the height of the food truck craze, it began as a novel idea – Sweet began selling artisan pizzas at local farmer’s markets, festivals, and other catered events.  

Sweet took a chance on creating a healthier approach to cooking arguably America... Read More